(8 October 2000, belatedly)
A vaguely connected miscellany. First, some new entries in the title chain game:
Now a chain of phrases:
tripping the light fantastic
out of bounds
bound and gagged
gag me with a spoon
Players alternate; no repeating allowed. (I believe that series is due to Bhadrika.) You can also leave out the repeated bits: each player just adds a new word, where each adjacent pair of words has to form a recognized phrase (or sometimes a compound word):
common cold cut back street wise crack pot sticker shock treatment
(For those from regions where the term isn't used, in these parts a "pot sticker" is an item of Chinese food, so called because they stick to the pot when cooked. They have a variety of other names in other areas of the US. I have no idea what they'd be called in any part of China.)
Along similar lines, there was a theatre warmup I heard in high school that involved saying a series of phrases, in a variety of ways. I'm not sure what the significance of the phrases was, but it was always the same phrases in the same order: too hot, hot potato, potato pancake, pancake platter, platter clatter.
If you're really bored, you can leave out the requirement for a common phrase as such, and just free-associate a related word, with the further rule that for each new word you have to change the sense in which the last word was used (or pun on it):
phone booth Lincoln Cougar cheetah poker gridiron goal check rain sun father priest Judas goat calf leg toe truck tire rest all none habit speed fast eat....Moving right along, here are some new marquee juxtapositions:
One Fine Day
The Preacher's Wife
Men in Black
Batman & Robin
(from a theatre in Santa Cruzor at least the second and third were; the first may've been added later)
The Emperor & the Assassin
(Park Theatre, Menlo Park, 2/17/00)
Woman on Top
What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath
(somewhere in the Bay Area)
If you get tired of real-life marquees, you can make up double features:
Is Paris Burning? / Paris Is Burning
Clue / Clueless / Without a Clue
Jaws / A
Farewell to Arms
Dead Again / You
Only Live Twice
Juxtapositions are not limited to movies. I once saw these two books sitting next to each other on a shelf at a kids' bookstore:
Where Do Babies Come From?
The Soles of Your Feet
Tom Parker, by way of Lesley Tsina, suggests some movies for people double majoring in Marine Biology and Film:
Sleeping with Anemones
Silence of the Clams
The Cabinet of Dr. Calamari
My suggestions along the same lines:
The Island of Dr. Moray
Tuna in Tomorrow
Straight to Halibut
Salmon and Rosie Get Laid
Catfish on a Hot Tin Roof
And that's not even considering the films that already have fish titles, from Jaws to Day of the Dolphin to Go Fish to Octopussy....
I hear that Mary Ann Madden has retired, after umpteen years running weekly New York Magazine competitions. I never did write to ask for permission to reprint some of the lovely competition results published in hard-to-find books like Maybe He's Dead and Thank You for the Giant Sea Tortoise. But here's what I would've entered in one of her contests had I been around for it. Her version was to come up with a common phrase or title or person's name and either change or remove one letter for comic effect. My version's a little stricter: remove a single letter from a book or movie or poem title.
Then there's The Tragedy of Hamet, Prince of Denmarkclearly that's a typo for either Mamet or Hammett, but I'm not sure which. It's probably a hard-boiled detective novel about a guy who drinks too much and says "fuck" a lot while trying to determine whether his uncle killed his father....
Finally, I realize that some of you may be reading this column instead of doing important work on your theses. If you're in the sciences, you may want to take a look at this thesis title generator. Good luck.